If there’s one thing to say about Southerners, it’s that we don’t do things by halves. Around the holidays we pull out all the stops. We don’t try to follow traditions, we follow them to the smallest detail. We don’t try a few new recipes, we make the whole cookbook. And on Thanksgiving, we don’t have one turkey, we have two. On my turkey – or should I say turkeys-Day, I usually try four different birds from three different festivals. It’s a marathon feast that leaves me feeling both uncomfortably full and incredibly happy by the end.
For me, the undisputed star of Thanksgiving is the turkey. Some people argue that the sides are where the real party happens, and while I love green bean casserole and dressing as much as the next girl, nothing compares to the main event. So why make two? The obvious argument is that you can never have too much of a good thing, but the reasoning goes much deeper. Here are the top reasons Southerners never settle for just one turkey on Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving only comes once a year
Think about it. How often have you eaten turkey in the last year? And no, cold cuts don’t count. Thanksgiving is the only excuse we get every year to eat this special fowl, so we might as well make the most of it. If you get cravings for turkey in the middle of summer, tough luck. Grocery stores probably don’t sell it, and you’ll have a hard time finding a restaurant that has it on the menu. So when turkey day rolls around, double up on turkey and keep your cravings at bay for the year ahead.
Avoid hosting horrors
Every southern host’s worst nightmare is running out of food. Can you imagine the embarrassment of sending a guest home hungry? And on Thanksgiving? The horror! If you’re hosting this year, our handy guide will tell you exactly how much turkey to prepare. But like mom always says, better safe than sorry. An extra bird can also be a lifesaver in the event of an unexpected kitchen disaster. You wouldn’t be the first turkey to be accidentally eaten by a mischievous four-legged family member.
Diversity is the spice of life
There are a million ways to cook a turkey. You can roast it, salt it, smoke it, and my personal favorite, fry it. Restricting oneself to one preparation seems cruel. I only started eating fried turkey about 8 years ago when I started sharing Thanksgiving Day with my now husband’s family. And let me tell you – it changed my life. My father-in-law usually makes two fried birds: one that gets a few extra injections of tangy Cajun marinade (my favorite!), and one that’s a little milder. There is usually a traditional roast turkey as well, bringing the total number of turkeys to three.
When it comes to family gatherings, a touch of friendly competition is always welcome. If a morning game of pigskin or an afternoon game of poker isn’t enough to ease the itch, try a turkey judging contest between the various birds on your table. Just be sure to keep your comments discreet, less than a turkey will be disheveled!
Keep fighting in check
Wings are always in high demand in our family. With two turkey toms, there’s less fighting for the wings and more to be thankful for. There are also two wishbones, meaning two Thanksgiving wishes are granted instead of just one!
Leftovers are arguably the best part of Thanksgiving. You might get sick of the stuff by the end of the night, but we guarantee you’ll have an appetite for turkey and all the sides again the next day. Stack it all up in a sandwich for the perfect soccer snack. When all the sides are long gone, use the extra turkey to make our Leftover Turkey Casserole or one of those ultra-cosy turkey soups.
Make yourself like a Southerner this Thanksgiving and buy that extra bird. You can thank us later!